War, Unrest, Scandal: The Rise of Higashi Honganji

Who’d think a Jodo Shinshu book would elicit thoughts of “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” That’s my feeling when reading, “Footsteps Through History, The Story of Shinshū Ōtani-ha.

This honest look at Shin Buddhism’s history through the lens of a Buddhist sect, Higashi Honganji (formally called Shinshū Ōtani-ha), shows how both institution and teachings were shaped through centuries beset by religious persecution, battles with samurai, social upheaval, civil war, world war, and even, personal scandals. Continue reading “War, Unrest, Scandal: The Rise of Higashi Honganji”

The Future of Jodo Shinshu in the West

Amid declining membership, a shortage of ministers, temples shuttered by the pandemic and other woes, Jodo Shinshu temples in the West face enormous challenges. What’s in store for the future?

To answer that question, three bishops representing the U.S. mainland, Canada and Hawaii, discussed their thoughts in an online forum last week hosted by the Buddhist Churches of America‘s (BCA) Center for Buddhist Education. Continue reading “The Future of Jodo Shinshu in the West”

Interview: BCA Bishop Marvin Harada

Rev. Marvin Harada was appointed Bishop of the Buddhist Churches of America (BCA) in April 2020 at the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic. Recently, Shinshu Center of America (SCA) asked Rev. Harada via Zoom about pressing challenges facing BCA, which represents the Nishi Honganji denomination (officially called Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha) of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism. Continue reading “Interview: BCA Bishop Marvin Harada”